Helsinki's prospects for the upcoming tourist season appear highly promising. A diverse range of events and numerous new attractions will inject additional excitement into the capital city. This summer, Helsinki is expected to approach the pre-pandemic levels of domestic, European, and American tourist arrivals, as per current projections.
Helsinki, chosen as the domestic travel destination of the year in 2022, continues to evolve as Finland's most fascinating tourist spot.
The city remains committed to investing in tourism and events, aligning with its urban strategy to pave the way for a more sustainable, intelligent, vibrant, and functional tourism and event city.
A Summer of New Experiences and Renewal in Helsinki
This year, Helsinki is set to unveil new and captivating visitor attractions alongside its beloved classics. These include the revamped Hakaniemi Market Hall, Amos Anderson's Hem Home Museum, and the upcoming Kulttuurikasarmi cultural center. Additionally, the Helsinki Biennial, with its captivating artworks, will once again enchant Vallisaari Island and extend its reach across the city. Among other highlights are the U Nation electronic dance music festival at Kansalaistori Square in late June and early July, as well as a hop-on hop-off bus service from Mellunmäki metro station to Sipoonkorpi National Park.
"Kaivopuisto Park will also host events, such as performances of the Mamma Mia musical in July. The cultural summer will be complemented by highly anticipated exhibitions like 'Tom of Finland' at Kiasma and 'Albert Edelfelt' at Ateneum. The city will be teeming with numerous events and exhibitions, and as Helsinki's accommodation offerings diversify, new restaurants open, and product offerings evolve, there is much to be excited about," enthuses Nina Vesterinen, Head of Tourism in Helsinki.
Helsinki Captivates Travelers!
The year 2022 and early 2023 have witnessed exceptional international visibility for Finland and Helsinki. Several factors have contributed to this, such as discussions on NATO membership, Finland's consecutive rankings as the world's happiest country, conversations on the functionality and preparedness of Finnish society amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and aggression in neighboring regions, and most recently, the Eurovision craze. As a result, international tour operators and media have shown exceptional interest in Helsinki's offerings and its efforts toward sustainable tourism and responsible products.
"Our local tourism businesses also have positive expectations. According to our pulse survey, over three-quarters of Helsinki's tourism companies view the upcoming tourist season as good or very good," states Vesterinen.
Tourist Numbers Approaching Pre-Pandemic Levels
With the influx of European visitors, Helsinki is expected to reach close to pre-pandemic tourist numbers this year. However, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a decrease in the number of Russian tourists. The highest number of flight bookings to Helsinki originates from Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Furthermore, significant interest in tourism-related searches has been observed from Spain and Italy. Helsinki anticipates a considerable number of domestic tourists during the summer, as well as visitors from Sweden and Estonia.
"Enhancing the duration of visitors' stays in Helsinki is our goal. From the perspective of sustainability, climate change, and the economy, extending visitors' length of stay is the best way to promote tourism," emphasizes Vesterinen.
Tourism Development Amid Uncertainties
However, tourism development also faces various uncertainties. Travel from China and Japan has been slower to recover than anticipated. The ongoing flight ban imposed on overflights by Russia poses a challenge to air traffic between Asia and Helsinki. Additionally, several uncertainties persist concerning global economic developments. While the number of international conferences in Helsinki is increasing, it has yet to reach peak levels. Congress visitors are important to Helsinki as their stays tend to be longer than those of leisure tourists, and they also contribute higher average spending. Thus, Helsinki seeks to facilitate hosting major international congresses. The city expects over 90 international cruise ship visits this season.
Helsinki Tourism Information: Tips for Travelers and Locals
One of the sure signs of summer in Helsinki is the opening of tourist information summer points. In addition to the permanent service point on Aleksanterinkatu Street, a service point will be opened in the Biennial Pavilion between the Old Market Hall and Market Square on May 29.
Furthermore, Helsinki Helpers, identifiable by their green vests, will be seen on the streets from early June. Tourist information will be available in 16 languages this summer. Helsinki residents are also welcome to visit the tourist information centers to explore their own city from a tourist's perspective.
"If you are celebrating Helsinki Day or expecting visitors, our tourist information advisors are delighted to provide recommendations for Helsinki's diverse offerings," says Mari Somero, Team Manager of Tourist Information.
As Helsinki gears up for an exciting summer of tourism, the city's rich cultural offerings, new attractions, and commitment to sustainability are set to captivate travelers from near and far. With a vision of an ever-evolving and vibrant destination, Helsinki is on track to cement its position as a must-visit city in Finland.